Re: How hard a Singularity?

From: James Higgins (
Date: Thu Jul 04 2002 - 07:59:22 MDT

At 01:20 AM 7/4/2002 -0400, Gordon Worley wrote:

>>A more likely cause (in my book at least) would stem from quantum
>>mechanics. I'm defiantly no expect on this stuff but the little I do
>>know about is pretty amazing. For instance, you can tangle 2 quantum
>>particles together and they will then maintain exactly opposite states
>>(switch one and the other switches). Then you can move these particles a
>>very long distance and they still have this effect, and it is virtually
>>instantaneous (ie: I believe can be faster than light).
>The problem that I have with quantum theories of the brain (among other
>problems, but this is my major problem with these theories) is that the
>brain needs to be robust to work well. If every whim of a particle can
>cause neuron firings, the brain probably wouldn't work at all. From what
>I can tell, brains are much more like computers NASA builds to go up in
>space: they can take a blast of radiation and keep on working.
>As much as people like to think they have complete free will, the same
>patterns of thought are evident in most people (most people includes me)
>and unless you like to be mystical or believe in quantum mystics, it is
>most likely that the brain is just really good at always getting the same
>kind of answer all of the time. Even the parts we can rewire don't change
>how we think so drastically that our minds become as alien as an AIs.

When quantum physics is more thoroughly understood I'm certain they will
figure out if and how it is related to the human brain. Until then we're
just guessing.

However, I didn't say the brain needed to be based on quantum mechanics (I
just said some people think so). What I did say is that quantum mechanics
could be responsible for the "mystical" capabilities some people believe
in. Even if the brain is not based on quantum mechanics it doesn't mean
that it can't detect such things at all. I have a friend who is very
scientific and logical and who (nearly) insists that his grandmother has
ESP like ability. Personally, I've never been convinced of such things
but, at the same time, I can't prove they don't exist.

>Besides, I assert there's no such thing as free will and it's just an
>illusion of the interpreter, but that's another thread.

Of course there is free will, at least on the individual level.


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